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When the Australian results are compared to those from the 2005 United States ‘Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy’ survey, Australians emerge as being more likely than Americans to build online links with people across different ages, generations and countries. Australians are eight per cent more likely to say that the Internet helps them interact with people from different ages and generations and 33 per cent more likely to say that the Internet helps them interact with people from other countries.
Compared to the US, the Internet has had more positive effects in the formation of bridging forms of social capital in Australia. This may be a result of Australia’s geographic isolation and the fact that a large proportion of Australians have family ties overseas. Americans, however, were more likely than Australians to feel that the Internet helped them interact with groups and people who share the same religious beliefs. [ANUpoll, April 2011, Public opinion on Internet use and civil society]
- At the end of June 2011, there were 10.9 million internet subscribers in Australia (excluding internet connections through mobile handsets). This represents annual growth of 14.8% and an increase of 4.4% since the end of December 2010.
- The phasing out of dial-up internet connections continued with 95% of internet connections being broadband.
- Australians continued to access increasingly faster download speeds, with 87% of access connections offering a download speed of 1.5Mbps or greater.
- Mobile wireless internet (excluding mobile handset) connections (44%) now exceed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connections (41%) in Australia. Mobile wireless (excluding mobile handset connections) was the fastest growing internet access technology in actual numbers, increasing from 4.2 million in December 2010 to 4.8 million in June 2011. [ABS 8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, June 2011]
Households are less likely to be connected to a computer, the internet and/or broadband if they have no children under 15 years; are located in ex-metropolitan areas of Australia; or have lower household incomes. [ABS 8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2008-09]